Cowgirl Creamery’s Library of Cheese

Are you looking for more information about a particular cheese? How about a selection from a particular country?

Cowgirl Creamery, the artisinal fromagerie near San Francisco features a nice library of cheese on their web site.

Here’s a sample entry:

Mimolette Extra Vieille

Mimolette Exra Vieille
Shaped like a pitted melon, this neon orange cow milk cheese from Flanders, Normandy has many stories told about its creation. My favorite tells a tale of France’s King Louis XIV, who banned the importation of Edamin (Edam) from his country. Apparently, the king decided that the Dutch cheese was getting too popular among his subjects, whom he felt, should be eating local: French cheese for French people! He commissioned a French copy of the cheese and ordered it dyed orange. Now, either that was to ensure that no one mistook the Mimolette for Edam again, or, given that Louis XIV had issues with the Dutch Royal House of Orange-Nassau, maybe it was a bit more personal.

Dyed with the annatto seed, Mimolette is aged for at least two years during which time it develops a chewy texture and a smoky, almost bacon-like flavor.
Mimolette Extra Vieille – Cowgirl Creamery’s Library of Cheese

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The best fromageries in Paris

Eric Lefèbvre fromagerie in Paris
Gridskipper, a blog for travelers and locals, has a great post about the finest fromageries in Paris. I was surprised to find one of them, Eric Lefèbvre, is literally around the corner from my apartment. I’ve shopped there many times but did not know of the pedigree.

This fourth generation master cheesemaker operates from an out of the way Parisian neighborhood and offers some superb regional cheeses which he selects personally during his visits to creameries and farms around France. His camemberts and stiltons are legendary.The Finest Fromage in Paris

This article spotlights other fromageries that are located outside of the city’s center. I smell a road-trip in the future. I need to grab my bike and go shopping.

Fromagerie Lefèbvre — Fromageries de Paris
Address: 229, rue de Charenton, 75012 Paris
Phone: 01-46-28-10-21, 01-46-28-62-07
Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.; closed Sunday afternoons & Mondays.
Proprietors: Eric & Patricia Lefèbvre

Jalapeno Gouda by Winchester Cheese Company

I stopped by Taste cheese shop in San Diego yesterday to try some Southern California cheese. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of options for this region. However, they did have some Goudas by Winchester Cheese Company, located near Temecula.
Goudas by Winchester Farms
Gouda‘s come from all over the world. However, Winchester has developed a truly Southern California experience. Their Jalapeno Gouda is a smooth cheese with a kick.

Our Boere Kaas (farm made) Jalapeno Gouda is a premium cheese aged a minimum of 60 days. The jalapeno and red peppers give it a moderately spicy taste. It is an excellent and flavorful accent for all occasions. This cheese won First Place at The American Cheese Society contest. Gold Medal Winner at L.A. County Fair.
Winchester Cheese Company

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Oktoberfest with Beer and Cheese in San Diego

Celebrate Oktoberfest with special cheese and beer pairings in San Diego. Taste (Fromagerie) and O’Briens (Pub) are working together for these classes. Here’s what they have to say:

Yesterday was the day we gathered to plan our pairings for our sixth round of beer and cheese pairings with O’Brien’s. Tom Nickel (owner of O’Brien’s), George and Mary were joined by tasting panel guests Sandy and Todd Webster, winners of the early-registration drawing. As always, it was a lot of fun – and a lot of work at the same time. In the end, we came away with an amazing menu of all-new pairings including an all-German flight, a truffle pairing and a sweet finale that will go down as one of our best ever. It’s one you definitely won’t want to miss! Space is filling fast so don’t delay, sign up today by sending an email or calling us at (619) 683-2306.

  • Wednesday, October 15th, 7pm at TASTE – 1243 1/2 University Ave (Hillcrest)
  • Sunday, October 19th, 6:30pm at O’Brien’s Pub – 4646 Convoy Street (Kearny Mesa)
  • $40

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If you have an event coming up, send an email to for listing in the web site.

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Mimolette at the Paris Market

Cheese at the marketI was at the Bastille Farmers Market this morning. I purchased some yogurt, comte, and fromage frais de chevre from a popular stand. Afterward, I noticed the light coming into their stand and took this photograph. You can practically taste the mimolette.

Mimolette is a magnificent cheese with apples. There’s nothing like a chunk of very old mimolette with a crisp, sweet apple. Most of the apples I’ve found in Paris are softer, baking apples. If you’d like a crisp apple ask for  pomme à croquer.

Cheese Plus celebration in San Franciso

Cheese Plus is a well-known fromagerie in San Francisco. They’re celebrating their shop’s third birthday

Here’s the announcement from Cheese Plus

To celebrate our 3rd anniversary we’ll be hosting our Summer Solstice Food Festival on Saturday, June 21st from 11AM – 6PM.

More than 2 dozen local Bay Area food artisans will be on site throughout the day sampling their unique and wonderful products.

Janet Fletcher (James Beard award winning food writer for SF Chronicle) will be in store from 12 – 2PM signing her latest book, Cheese & Wine, a guide to selecting, pairing, and enjoying; and our knife sharpening service will be on-site to sharpen your knives and instruct you in the sharper side of life.

Here’s a sneak peak of a few food artisans on site:

  • Paul Bertolli‘s delicious sausages and salami from Fra’Mani
  • LaLoo’s Legendary Goat Milk Ice Cream
  • Bellwether Farms Farmstead Sheep Cheese
  • Allison McQuade’s authentic, tasty Chutney’s
  • Redwood Hill Sonoma Goat Cheese
  • Live Music, and much, much more!!

Festivities begin at 11AM and continue to 6PM.

Cheese Plus is located at 2001 Polk Avenue in San Francisco. Their phone number is (415) 921-2001.

French cheeses at the Paris Bread Festival

This weekend, the entrance to Notre Dame in Paris smells a lot better. The annual Fête du Pain features fresh bread baking, classes for children, demonstrations, and a large display of French cheeses.
Fete du Pain - Paris 2008
The festival will continue on Sunday. It’s geared for the younger bread lovers, so take the children with you.

Fête des Fromages in Rocamadour, France

Fetes des fromagesFood festivals are always fun. You’ll find obscure dishes (garlic ice cream at the Garlic Festival), pseudo-celebrities (William Hung at the Artichoke Festival), beauty queens, and some really great food to eat and buy.

Rocamadour is a small town in France that features an annual Fête des Fromages in May. It’s the largest cheese fair in Southern France, with over 50 producers arriving to share their products.

The Travel Signposts Blog describes a cheese from this region:

This village has a cheese named after it, i.e. Cabécou de Rocamadour or more commonly known as “Rocamadour“. Since being awarded the AOC label in 1996, the producers have abandoned the name Cabécou as it’s too generic and hence today the cheese is just called “Rocamadour“. This also enables them to differentiate Rocamadour from the many Cabécou that exist. Rocamadour can be eaten at the various stages of maturation. Rocamadour (cheese)When it’s between 1 and 2 weeks maturity it has a subtle acidic aroma and a slight nutty taste. As the “affinage” progresses, these characteristics mature and become more pronounced.
Fête des Fromages – Rocamadour, France</cite>

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Bleu D’Auvergne, a mild french blue cheese

Bleu d'AuvergneBlue D’Auvergne is a milder blue cheese than its nearby cousins in Roquefort. It is creamy, smooth, and cooks/melts easily. It may not have the punch needed for a hearty blue cheese souffle or sauce, but it is great to eat in salads and by itself.

Artisanal Premium Cheese has a great description of it on their site:

Bleu d’Auvergne is a name-protected (Appelation d’Origine Controlée, AOC) cheese from the Auvergne region in south-central France, where it has been made since the middle of the 19th century. Bleu d’Auvergne is made in the traditional manner from cow’s milk and features blue veining throughout. Its moist, sticky rind conceals a soft paste possessing a grassy, herbaceous, and (with age) spicy, pungent taste.
Blue D’Auvergne Cheese – Artisanal Premium Cheese

Salad with Blue D’Auvergne tartine

Salad with bleue d'Auvergne
Recently, i had this salad with tartine at a small brasserie in Paris. The beauty of this dish lies in its simplicity.

The salad consisted of greens, tomatoes, walnuts, and olives. A tartine was made with a slice of Poilâne bread, smothered with Blue D’Auvergne and placed under the broiler for a minute or so to melt the cheese. This was then cut into smaller pieces and placed on the salad.

The bite sized chunks of cheese and bread made the salad a great meal. Try this for dinner tonight.

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The infamous cheese rolling competition

This reminds me of soap-box derby races on crack. The guy in fluorescent yellow steals the show. But what about the poor cheese?